- Difference between translation and interpreting
- Difference between consecutive and simultaneous interpreting
- More than one interpreter for one meeting
- Service during lunch
- Pacing with the interpreter
- Unable to find a Japanese interpreter for tomorrow
- Great on the resume, horrible in person
What is the difference between translation and interpreting?Translation generally refers to a written rendition of a document. Interpreting generally refers to an oral rendition of a speech. An oral rendition of a document is called site translation. To provide a written translation of a speech, the speech first must be transcribed in the original language. Return to top
What is the difference between consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting?
In consecutive interpreting, the speaker must pause after a short segment of speech so that the interpreter can repeat that segment in the target language. No special equipment is necessary for consecutive interpreting. One interpreter usually is sufficient for short meetings. For intensive full-day meetings, two interpreters are required.
In simultaneous interpreting, the speaker keeps talking while the interpreter, in a soundproof booth, listens to the speech from a headset and delivers the rendition in the target language through a microphone. The audience members listen to the interpreter through portable audio devices. Simultaneous interpreting requires audio equipment that is specifically designed for the purpose. At least two interpreters are required for one meeting. Return to top
We were told to hire two interpreters for one meeting. Why is that necessary?
In order to prevent exhaustion and loss of voice, simultaneous interpreters need to take turns every 15 minutes. They do not work alone. Consecutive interpreters should take turns every 30 minutes to 1 hour. To ensure accuracy of the rendition, leading international organizations (such as the United Nations) and the majority of U.S. courts do not allow consecutive interpreters to work alone for more than two hours. It should be kept in mind that while interpreters talk on behalf of all people in the room, they also listen, think, take notes, and make instant linguistic decisions on a constant basis. Return to top
Our interpreters insist on taking a meal break when we plan to have a working lunch. Why are they so uncooperative?
Interpreters must keep their mouths closed while they eat. In addition, professional interpreting is a mentally and physically demanding task that requires sufficient rest throughout the day. Excessive workload will result in exhaustion and loss of voice. However, we are aware of the importance of making the most of the limited time you can spend with your international client. If you plan to have a working lunch, please let us know at the time of the service order so that we will be able to schedule interpreters accordingly.
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Do I have to speak slowly if I work with an interpreter?
If you are working with a top-level interpreter, you usually don’t have to slow down too much. However, it is very important to pause frequently between phrases and sentences and to speak clearly when you mention names and numbers. (Think in terms of giving out a new phone number or a name of a foreign city to someone.) If you are working with an entry- or mid-level interpreter, more cooperation generally is required. The ideal pace of speech also is determined by the technicality and complexity of the topic. Return to top
We contacted all the agencies we could find. Why didn’t any of them have just one decent Japanese interpreter for tomorrow?
Regardless of whom you contact, the local pool of professional Japanese interpreters is the same, and the relationships between agencies and interpreters are nonexclusive. The number of reliable interpreters is much smaller than most people think. We encourage everyone to book as early as possible. Return to top
We compared the rates and qualifications of many Japanese interpreters and hired the one we thought was best. The result turned out to be horrible. Why?
You can’t determine oral communication skills based on paper. Disregard any “certification,” “accreditation,” or “license” for Japanese interpreters because most of them are for entry levels and none of them is widely acknowledged. Many “interpreting” or “translation” schools in Japan are in reality second-language schools. Your safest bet is to contact a company that is reliable and experienced in the specific language you need. Return to top